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During a press conference Friday afternoon at his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J., President Donald Trump blasted the “corrupt” media, defended his “peacefully protesting” fans from the media’s attacks and vowed to take executive action if congressional Democrats “continue to hold this critical relief hostage.”
In doing all this, he triggered “#DearDiary” recriminations from “journalists” like CNN’s Jim Acosta:
Trump turned his Bedminster news conference into a rally, bashing the press and drawing applause from his golf club members. Those members were booing the press towards the end of the news conference.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 8, 2020
The president began the presser by providing an update on the economy and chastising Democrats for allegedly trying to hijack coronavirus relief discussions with left-wing politics.
“My administration continues to work in good faith to reach an agreement with Democrats in Congress that will extend unemployment benefits, provide protections against evictions. … Yet tragically, [Democrat congressional leaders] Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer continue to insist on radical left-wing policies that have nothing to do with the China virus, nothing to do with it at all,” he said.
He then vowed to sign an executive order that would automatically defer payroll taxes until 2021, defer student loan payments, extend unemployment benefits and extend the ongoing eviction moratorium.
“If Democrats continue to hold this critical relief hostage, I will act under my authority as president to get Americans the relief they need,” he said.
Watch the full presser below:
The president continued the presser by discussing the explosion in Beirut, talking about the American economy some more, addressing a few domestic issues (including the riots in Portland) and highlighting the latest data concerning the coronavirus pandemic.
It was when he opened the presser up for questions from the media that it began to take a more negative direction.
He was first asked about a report that Russia and China are attempting to interfere in the 2020 race. He responded by chastising the reporter for not mentioning Iran as well.
“The report said Iran also, but you didn’t say that,” he claimed.
Members of the press also took shots at the president’s own supporters.
“You said that the pandemic is disappearing, but we lost 6,000 Americans this week. And just in this room, you have dozens of people who are not following the guidelines in New Jersey,” one reporter kvetched.
The reporter wasn’t alone. Twitter was brimming with reporters and journalists complaining about some of the Trump supporters present at the presser allegedly not wearing masks and allegedly not following proper social distancing protocols.
Golf club guests largely not wearing masks or social distancing https://t.co/P9mmMci6WY
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) August 7, 2020
No social distancing. Just four people pictured wearing masks. And it’s indoors. https://t.co/Vd1FQzBnTb
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) August 7, 2020
No social distancing and not a lot of masks. https://t.co/OcKjQiQSwt
— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) August 7, 2020
Awaiting @POTUS presser in Bedminster. Many members of his club are here not social distancing and not wearing masks.
A club official just told the crowd to “spread out a little bit” because “the tweets are going out” about their noncompliance with NJ regulations pic.twitter.com/bzyLVwqS0u
— Toluse Olorunnipa (@ToluseO) August 7, 2020
One particularly nasty tweet from a CBS News reporter tried to make it a class issue:
Aside from the clear public health issues, the optics of POTUS addressing his country club members who pay at up to $350,000 to join while millions of Americans don’t know how they’ll cover rent this month as expanded unemployment benefits have expired is—an interesting choice. https://t.co/0Fl9ihm9do
— Kathryn Watson (@kathrynw5) August 7, 2020
Responding to the complaints, the president chose during the presser to expose the left’s hypocrisy by arguing that his supporters were just “peacefully protesting.”
“They don’t have to [wear masks and social distance]. It’s a political activity. … They have exceptions. Political activity, and it’s also a peaceful protest. … [Y]ou have an exclusion in the law. It says peaceful protest or political activity, right?” he said.
“In fact, specifically, yeah, it says exactly political activity or peaceful protest. And you can call it political activity, but I’d call it peaceful protest because they heard you were coming up and they know the news is fake. They understand it better than anybody.”
Members of the left, including both congressional Democrats and their media allies, have continually excused violent rioting from left-wing extremists on the basis that it’s OK to “peacefully protest” against alleged “racial injustice.”
Now listen to the reaction from the president’s supporters as he pushed back on the media’s complaints about them:
WATCH: Reporter tries to call out Trump supporters for not following coronavirus guidelines.
“You’re wrong on that,” President Trump replied. “It’s a peaceful protest.” pic.twitter.com/oNZUZ0Fb26
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) August 8, 2020
First, they booed the reporter, and then they burst into applause when the president said that they were just “peacefully protesting.”
He concluded his presser by taking one final shot at the “fake” media.
“They [his supporters] know the news is fake. They understand it better than anybody. They asked whether or not they can be here. Like the question about Russia, he doesn’t mention Iran was in the report. He doesn’t mention, or he mentions very late, that China was in the report,” he said.
“If the press in this country were honest, it wasn’t corrupt, if it wasn’t fake, our country would be so much further ahead. But we’re doing really great. Thank you all very much. Thank you very much.”
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